Sherlock Holmes Returns

Readers of Collier’s Weekly found this announcement just below the Table of Contents for the September 19, 1903 issue:

Sherlock Holmes Returns!

In next week’s issue of COLLIER’S, the Household Number for October, will begin the most notable series of short stories of the year, – “The Return of Sherlock Holmes,” by Sir A. Conan Doyle. Those familiar with the previous adventures of the famous detective – and are there any who are not? – will remember that the last heard of Mr. Holmes was the report that he had been hurled headlong over a precipitous cliff. It was not believed that any man – either in fact or in fiction – could survive such a shock as this, and even the detective’s best friends (even those who most realized the very good reasons Holmes might have for wishing himself to be considered dead) began to give up hope of ever again hearing of his wonderful genius or of witnessing its almost infallible operation. But Holmes did not die. He survived the deadly peril through which he passed, and of this and of the ensuing adventures Sir Conan Doyle tells us in the remarkable series which he has called “The Return of Sherlock Holmes.” The first story is entitled “The Adventure of the Empty House,” and will be published next week. The second story will follow in the November Household Number. The illustrations for the series have been made by Frederic Dorr Steele and form a perfect complement to the text.

What a delightful surprise that must have been!

On September 18th…

September 18, 1889: Mary Sutherland and Hosmer Angel went for their second walk. [IDEN]

“He was a very shy man, Mr. Holmes. He would rather walk with me in the evening than in the daylight, for he said that he hated to be conspicuous. Very retiring and gentlemanly he was. Even his voice was gentle. He’d had the quinsy and swollen glands when he was young, he told me, and it had left him with a weak throat, and a hesitating, whispering fashion of speech. He was always well dressed, very neat and plain, but his eyes were weak, just as mine are, and he wore tinted glasses against the glare.”

L0059062 Sunglasses with dark blue lenses, England, 1860-1900 Credit: Science Museum, London. Wellcome Images.   Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death

Sherlock Holmes Faces Death, the sixth film with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce in the roles of Holmes and Watson, premiered on September 17, 1943. After three films casting Holmes more as spy than detective (Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror (1942), Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon (1943), and Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943)), Sherlock Holmes Faces Death marked a return to the mystery genre. The plot draws on “The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual”, but with an added murder or two, plus some new characters, including Miss Sally Musgrave.

On September 16th…

September 16, 1889: Mary Sutherland and Hosmer Angel went for their first walk. [IDEN]

“It was most suggestive,” said Holmes. “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important. Can you remember any other little things about Mr. Hosmer Angel?”

“He was a very shy man, Mr. Holmes. He would rather walk with me in the evening than in the daylight, for he said that he hated to be conspicuous. Very retiring and gentlemanly he was. Even his voice was gentle. He’d had the quinsy and swollen glands when he was young, he told me, and it had left him with a weak throat, and a hesitating, whispering fashion of speech. He was always well dressed, very neat and plain, but his eyes were weak, just as mine are, and he wore tinted glasses against the glare.”

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

 

September 16, 1902: Holmes was attacked outside the Café Royal. [ILLU]

We learn with regret that Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the well-known private detective, was the victim this morning of a murderous assault which has left him in a precarious position. There are no exact details to hand, but the event seems to have occurred about twelve o’clock in Regent Street, outside the Café Royal. The attack was made by two men armed with sticks, and Mr. Holmes was beaten about the head and body, receiving injuries which the doctors describe as most serious. He was carried to Charing Cross Hospital and afterwards insisted upon being taken to his rooms in Baker Street. The miscreants who attacked him appear to have been respectably dressed men, who escaped from the bystanders by passing through the Cafe Royal and out into Glasshouse Street behind it.

No doubt they belonged to that criminal fraternity which has so often had occasion to bewail the activity and ingenuity of the injured man.

Limerick Corner: IDEN and ILLU

In honor of the ongoing Canonical events this week, two more limericks from Sandy Kozinn (JHWS “Roxie”):

On the sidewalk poor Mary did dither,
As her thoughts flew hither and thither,
Why did Angel disappear?
Was he dead? Oh, the fear!
Holmes knew Windibank’s? Love was just blither.

With china the man was an ace,
That Baron, he took the first place,
But with femmes he was mean,
The worst to be seen,
So revenge got him right in the face.

On September 14th…

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (September, 1891)

September 14, 1889: The Gasfitters’ Ball was held. [IDEN]

“I see. Then at the gasfitters’ ball you met, as I understand, a gentleman called Mr. Hosmer Angel.”

“Yes, sir. I met him that night, and he called next day to ask if we had got home all safe, and after that we met him—that is to say, Mr. Holmes, I met him twice for walks, but after that father came back again, and Mr. Hosmer Angel could not come to the house any more.”

 

 

 

 

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 14, 1902: Holmes and Kitty Winter pleaded with Violet de Merville. [ILLU]

“I was about to answer when the girl broke in like a whirlwind. If ever you saw flame and ice face to face, it was those two women.

“‘I’ll tell you who I am,’ she cried, springing out of her chair, her mouth all twisted with passion—’I am his last mistress. I am one of a hundred that he has tempted and used and ruined and thrown into the refuse heap, as he will you also. Your refuse heap is more likely to be a grave, and maybe that’s the best. I tell you, you foolish woman, if you marry this man he’ll be the death of you. It may be a broken heart or it may be a broken neck, but he’ll have you one way or the other. It’s not out of love for you I’m speaking. I don’t care a tinker’s curse whether you live or die. It’s out of hate for him and to spite him and to get back on him for what he did to me. But it’s all the same, and you needn’t look at me like that, my fine lady, for you may be lower than I am before you are through with it.'”

On September 13th…

September 13, 1889: James Windibank left for his first trip to France. [IDEN]
“[…] At last, when nothing else would do, he went off to France upon the business of the firm, but we went, mother and I, with Mr. Hardy, who used to be our foreman, and it was there I met Mr. Hosmer Angel.”

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 13, 1902: Sir James Damery consulted Holmes. [ILLU]

Sharp to the half-hour, Colonel Sir James Damery was announced. It is hardly necessary to describe him, for many will remember that large, bluff, honest personality, that broad, clean-shaven face, and, above all, that pleasant, mellow voice. Frankness shone from his grey Irish eyes, and good humour played round his mobile, smiling lips. His lucent top-hat, his dark frock-coat, indeed, every detail, from the pearl pin in the black satin cravat to the lavender spats over the varnished shoes, spoke of the meticulous care in dress for which he was famous. The big, masterful aristocrat dominated the little room.

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 13, 1902: Holmes visited Baron Adelbert Gruner. [ILLU]

He is an excellent antagonist, cool as ice, silky voiced and soothing as one of your fashionable consultants, and poisonous as a cobra. He has breeding in him—a real aristocrat of crime with a superficial suggestion of afternoon tea and all the cruelty of the grave behind it. Yes, I am glad to have had my attention called to Baron Adelbert Gruner.

On September 12th…

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (February-March, 1925)

September 12, 1902: Sir James Damery wrote to Holmes asking for an appointment. [ILLU]

“Sir James Damery presents his compliments to Mr. Sherlock Holmes and will call upon him at 4:30 to-morrow. Sir James begs to say that the matter upon which he desires to consult Mr. Holmes is very delicate and also very important. He trusts, therefore, that Mr. Holmes will make every effort to grant this interview, and that he will confirm it over the telephone to the Carlton Club.”

Illustration by Howard K. Elcock for The Strand Magazine (1923)

September 12, 1903: Professor Presbury was seriously injured by his wolfhound, Roy. [CREE]

And then in a moment it happened! It was not the chain that broke, but it was the collar that slipped, for it had been made for a thick-necked Newfoundland. We heard the rattle of falling metal, and the next instant dog and man were rolling on the ground together, the one roaring in rage, the other screaming in a strange shrill falsetto of terror. It was a very narrow thing for the professor’s life. The savage creature had him fairly by the throat, its fangs had bitten deep, and he was senseless before we could reach them and drag the two apart.

On September 11th…

Still from “The Creeping Man” (Granada Television, 1991)

September 11, 1903: Professor Presbury received a ninth packet from Dorak. [CREE]

The marks on the envelopes showed that they were those which had disturbed the routine of the secretary, and each was dated from the Commercial Road and signed “A. Dorak.” They were mere invoices to say that a fresh bottle was being sent to Professor Presbury, or receipt to acknowledge money.

More from Limerick Corner

Illustration by Ralph C. Criswell for the Los Angeles Times (March, 1925)

As promised yesterday, the second in a pair of limericks about “The Creeping Man” by Sandy Kozinn (JHWS “Roxie”):

It turned out, as Presbury found,
His behavior would bother his hound.
If your nature you’d change,
You’d better arrange
Not to have your old dog hang around.

Have a limerick you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!